This P60 application from the University of Connecticut Alcohol Research Center (UCONN ARC) requests five years of continued funding for the Center's research programs on vulnerability to alcohol dependence and promising biological and psychosocial treatment interventions. Component I describes the UConn ARC's organizational framework, quality control mechanisms related to research and publications, and supporting research facilities. The visiting scholars program, consulting and mentoring activities and journal editorship activities strengthen the UConn ARC'S role as a regional and national resource. Component II focuses on neurophysiologic, psychological, and genetic factors to predict risky drinking behavior / binge drinking and obesity risk among college age females. Component III, a second study of vulnerability, will focus on several stress-related pathways (including genetic) that may increase the susceptibility for developing heavy drinking and alcohol-related problems among college students after graduation. Continuing our Center's emphasis on novel treatments, we propose two new studies. Component IV builds upon current work and will evaluate the efficacy of Contingency Management as alcohol use is continuously monitored electronically vs. standard treatment. Eighteen month follow-up evaluations will examine drinking outcomes and the effects of CM on reducing other drug use, psychosocial problems, predictors of relapse, and the interaction of GABRA2 genotype with treatment conditions. Component V is a placebo controlled trial to evaluate the safety and efficacy of dutasteride. Reductions in drinking, the persistence of treatment effects, and the role of GABA alleles and AKR1C3 genotype in moderating the treatment response will also be examined. Component VI describes a program of translational, dissemination and educational activities that are integrated with the Center's theme, investigators, and research programs. Finally, the proposed pilot studies component (VII) will support six studies that relate directly to the Center'themes of vulnerability and novel treatments for alcohol dependence and help better position the Center with respect to the new UCONN capital improvement (Bioscience CT) and science (Jackson Laboratories) initiatives.

Public Health Relevance

The UCONN ARC has two primary aims: 1) the identification of social, psychological and biological factors that contribute to an adolescent's vulnerability fo developing alcohol problems, including alcohol dependence, and 2) developing more effective behavioral and pharmacological treatments for problem drinkers and persons with alcohol dependence. Our research findings have been used to improve both prevention programs and to improve treatment approaches.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)
Comprehensive Center (P60)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZAA1-GG (50))
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Huebner, Robert B
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University of Connecticut
Schools of Medicine
United States
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Petry, Nancy M; Alessi, Sheila M; Byrne, Shannon et al. (2015) Reinforcing adherence to antihypertensive medications. J Clin Hypertens (Greenwich) 17:33-8
O'Hara, Ross E; Armeli, Stephen; Tennen, Howard (2015) College students' drinking motives and social-contextual factors: Comparing associations across levels of analysis. Psychol Addict Behav 29:420-9
Petry, Nancy M; Alessi, Sheila M; Barry, Danielle et al. (2015) Standard magnitude prize reinforcers can be as efficacious as larger magnitude reinforcers in cocaine-dependent methadone patients. J Consult Clin Psychol 83:464-72
O'Hara, Ross E; Armeli, Stephen; Tennen, Howard (2014) College students' daily-level reasons for not drinking. Drug Alcohol Rev 33:412-9
O'Hara, Ross E; Armeli, Stephen; Tennen, Howard (2014) Drinking-to-cope motivation and negative mood-drinking contingencies in a daily diary study of college students. J Stud Alcohol Drugs 75:606-14
Andrade, Leonardo F; Barry, Danielle; Litt, Mark D et al. (2014) Maintaining high activity levels in sedentary adults with a reinforcement-thinning schedule. J Appl Behav Anal 47:523-36
Arias, Albert J; Covault, Jonathan; Feinn, Richard et al. (2014) A GABRA2 variant is associated with increased stimulation and 'high' following alcohol administration. Alcohol Alcohol 49:1-9
Weiss, Lindsay M; Petry, Nancy M (2014) Substance abuse treatment patients with early onset cocaine use respond as well to contingency management interventions as those with later onset cocaine use. J Subst Abuse Treat 47:146-50
Milivojevic, Verica; Feinn, Richard; Kranzler, Henry R et al. (2014) Variation in AKR1C3, which encodes the neuroactive steroid synthetic enzyme 3?-HSD type 2 (17?-HSD type 5), moderates the subjective effects of alcohol. Psychopharmacology (Berl) 231:3597-608
Kranzler, Henry R; Armeli, Stephen; Feinn, Richard et al. (2014) GRIK1 genotype moderates topiramate's effects on daily drinking level, expectations of alcohol's positive effects and desire to drink. Int J Neuropsychopharmacol 17:1549-56

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